Panasci awards $40K to student teams from three institutions
Panasci awards $40K to student teams from three institutionsApril 22, 2008Amy Schmitzaemehrin@syr.edu
It began with a record number of 100 student teams from across the Syracuse University, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and SUNY Upstate Medical University campuses just a few months ago. Then it was narrowed down to 16. And then to three. On April 18, the 2008 Panasci Business Plan Competition hosted by the Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship in the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University determined the winners and awarded $40,000 in prize money.
First place and $25,000 went to team Dream Water, consisting of Whitman students junior Greg Porpiglia and sophomore Michael Gursha, and Vincent Porpiglia, a 2007 graduate of Florida International University. Dream Water’s business concept is to provide customers with an all-natural, pleasant-tasting, water-based sleep aid beverage.
Two teams — Light Innovations and Some Where Out There — tied for second place and will split $15,000. The Panasci Competition also recognized Water Enhancement Techniques (WET) for technology excellence ($1,000), SwaggerDap for entrepreneurial spirit, and Let Us Fish for creative excellence.
“Year after year, we see incredible hard work, passion and commitment from the Panasci competitors. We congratulate Dream Water and all the teams that participated for stepping up to the firing line,” says Michael Morris, the Witting Chair in Entrepreneurship at Whitman. “The business concepts these teams created were exceptional, and, more importantly, competing gave the students a taste of what it’s like in the real world to start your own business.”
The winners were decided based on the creativity and innovation of the idea, the reality of the proposed business, the comprehensiveness of the written business plan, and the quality of the team’s oral presentation. To ensure success and learning from the competition, students were assisted by the Whitman School’s faculty and entrepreneurs, who served as mentors. They also participated in workshops on how to properly create, prepare and present a business plan.
The final rounds of the competition were judged by a group of 21 prominent entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.